Northwest Parenting teaching parents techniques to engage children


By Sue Cody



Teresa Crouter NW ParentingNorthwest Parenting provides family engagement in the community, said Prevention Specialist Teresa Crouter. It serves Clatsop, Tillamook and Columbia counties, from a county office at 800 Exchange Street in Astoria.



There are numerous ways Northwest Parenting helps family relationships. Parents can learn more about the development and strengths of  their children, meet and share stories with other parents, learn parenting skills and positive approaches to discipline.



“Parents are the first and most important teachers in getting children school ready,” Crouter said. “We help parents understand how the bond with infants and small children affects how they learn later.”



On Sept 19, Northwest Parenting was a sponsor of a Kids Safety Fair and Car Seat Clinic. Northwest Parenting offers an assortment of parenting classes and workshops, geared toward different aged children.



“We have fun at our classes,” Crouter said. “We have great facilitators. We offer free family meals, free childcare and we can arrange transportation if necessary.”



Read for the Record



On Oct. 22, Northwest Parenting joins Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a global campaign that promotes the love of reading. Worldwide, children and adults will read the same book on the same day and attempt to set a world record.



The event takes place at the Astoria Library and Seaside Library at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 22. This year’s book is “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story.” The first 30 families will receive a free copy of the book. There will be story time, crafts and a snack.



Last year more than 100 local kids participated in Read for the Record, Crouter said.


NW Parenting brochures
Upcoming classes



• “Introduction to Positive Parenting” is a one-hour workshop for parents and caregivers with children 5 to 10 years old. This free class offers childcare and refreshments. It is held at Astor Elementary School from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m., Jan. 21.[Jeanie Lu1] [Unknown A2] 



• “Strengthening Families” is a program for parents, caregivers and youth ages 10 to 14. Participants receive instruction on how to set limits and learn skills on how to deal with frustrations and peer pressure. Cost of the workshop is $25 per family, which includes dinner and childcare. It will be held Thursday evenings Feb. 4 through March 17 at Broadway Middle School in Seaside.



In this workshop, the kids meet together the first hour, as do the parents. Then all come together in the second hour. “This is a valuable time for families to work together,” Crouter said. “It’s all about relationships.”



• “Parenting Now” is for parents of children from birth to 5 years old. A class is scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, April 7 to May 19. This class offers time for parents to interact with other parents and children. Family dinner and child play supervision is provided each week. It is held at Astoria Port-Play at Capt. Robert Gray School. Cost is $25 per family.



• “Kinder Ready” workshops offer a chance for parents and caregivers to learn simple and inexpensive ways to incorporate learning through play at home. All participants will take home items used in the free workshops. Times and dates will be announced.



Interactive pilot program



Because parenting classes have not always been well attended, Northwest Parenting is conducting an interactive online pilot program for parents of children 4 to 10 years old. “Time is the biggest challenge facing parents,” said Crouter about low participation in the classrooms.



Parents are taking the class online at their convenience in their own home and offering feedback. Northwest Parenting will discover what works and how to better serve parents. Depending on the feedback, the program may be offered again, Crouter said.



All Northwest Parenting programs are evidence-based, meaning they have been researched and proven to be successful.



Northwest Parenting is funded by the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative, a multi-year initiative led by The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), The Ford Family Foundation and Oregon State University. Financial supporters include the Meyer Memorial Trust, the Collins Foundation and OCF Donor Advised Funds.



Most of the funding is targeted toward children from birth to 6 years old. “Early engagement between parents and children builds confidence,” Crouter said. “Being confident, children are ready to try new things.”



Northwest Parenting an updated, user-friendly website,



Resources, programs and updated activities can be found under the “Clatsop” tab on the website. There is also a Facebook page,



For information, and to register for classes, call 503-325-8673, ext. 2.